outside0“The Winter of Our Discontent” is both a novel by one of my favorite authors, John Steinbeck, and the first line of the play Richard III, by Shakespeare:

“Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York…”

And with the “Dis” crossed out in Discontent, it also describes this mighty winter which has, at long last, come to an end.  While it has been the most brutal, cold, snowy winter that any living human can remember, it’s also been filled with great activities and memories… some planned, some, not so much.

Let’s start last autumn.  And I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written on May 16th, 2014 , Everything Else

Riverside Park in St. Cloud, MN

The summer of 2013 will go down in our family history of one of the most unusual to date. We have closed out a major chapter in our lives, and we’re now in a sort of limbo for a few months before the next one begins.

The kids are in school. Even Piper. Putting her youngest, at the age of three, in an all-day preschool was a heart wrenching decision for Carina. We didn’t have much of a choice. Dad works all day. Mom needs to study full time for the big test. Michelle has moved on with her life and is doing bigger and better things than being our nanny. (For the record, Piper and Michelle miss each other like crazy.)

Life has returned to an eerily familiar, but yet still different form of what it was before we went to the island. We’ve all changed and grown, and although we are back in our same house, same town, same schools, same church… it feels different in a way that’s hard to put words around. Read the rest of this entry »

Written on September 19th, 2013 , Everything Else

Reunion at the airport

Reunion at the airport

Piper tried hard to stay awake for mom, but by 12:30am, this was all she had left.

Piper tried hard to stay awake for mom, but by 12:30am, this was all she had left.

Late on Monday evening, the 19th of August, Tanner, Andi, Piper and I drove to the airport to pickup Carina from her final return flight from St. Martin.  Andi came home last June (two months ago), and Piper and Michelle came home almost a month ago.  After a period of more than a year of our family being sporadically spread across the Northern Hemisphere, we are at last all together again.

And it’s wonderful. Read the rest of this entry »

Written on August 30th, 2013 , Everything Else
Cari's mom, her mom's two sisters, and her mom's mom

Cari’s mom (in the middle), her mom’s two sisters (Dianne on the left and Sue on the right), and her mom’s mom, Grandma May.

What with being a solo dad and all, I have fallen woefully behind in keeping this blog up to date.  So, for this post, I’m going to keep typing to a minimum and pictures to a maximum.

A few months back, the girls down on the island received a visit from four fantastic ladies: Cari’s mom, two aunts, and grandma.  From what I hear, it was a wild, crazy and fun visit filled with good times and laughter.

All of these photos are “borrowed” from Michelle’s blog, and if you’d like to learn more about the awesome visit from Grandma, aunts, and Great Grandma, feel free to surf on over and check it out!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written on July 8th, 2013 , Everything Else

Christmas Break, 2012

Having the girls back in Minnesota for a few weeks was a special treat. We spent a lot of time just being with each other and visiting with family and friends.  I’ll let the photos do most of the talking, but first, here’s a quick catch-up:

It’s been one year since we embarked on this adventure.

What a year.

The winding path we’ve been on has led us through experiences we never imagined. Many  have been enjoyable.  Some have been… memorable.  And we’re just getting started.

2013 now stands ahead of us with promises of more untold adventures.  Cari will finish up on the island in August, and at this point we have no idea what our summer will look like, or where we will land in the fall. Read the rest of this entry »

Written on January 20th, 2013 , Everything Else

Andi gives Tanner a huge ‘Welcome Back!’ hug

With my new job which allows me to work from anywhere, Tanner and I have the option of returning to St. Martin full time. However, there’s a catch: Tanner is loving life in New Brighton, MN. He’s enjoying 6th grade at Highview Jr. High, and he’s enrolled in a baseball tutoring program, guitar lessons, and a martial arts class. And, he and his uncle Tommy (who’s a year younger than him) are loving being roommates.

I just don’t have the heart to yank him out of all that.

And so, until Cari’s done on the island in August, I’ll be doing a balancing act between the two locations. On Saturday, November 10th, I flew down and joined the girls, and on Thursday November 15th, Tanner joined us. (A big “Thank You” to Cory Beard who got up at 3:30 AM that morning to take Tanner to the Air Port!! What a seriously good friend!)

Tanner and I will be on the island with the girls until just after Thanksgiving, and we plan to pack in as much fun as possible while we’re here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written on November 18th, 2012 , Everything Else

Lobster and Caviar

I’d like to take a brief break from the narrative of life in St. Martin to share some fun experiences I had recently with my new employer, ACS-Connect, based in Tampa, Florida.

I’ve been in contact with this company since June earlier this year, had done a little bit of freelance work for them in the mean time, and a few weeks ago I joined them full time.

For the first two weeks of my new job I went down to Tampa where I spent business hours in their office receiving a crash course in their products, and in the evenings and on weekends I was treated to a barrage of fun foods thanks to my very Italian and food-savvy boss and the professional chef to whom he is married.

I won’t talk much in this post, but I do want to share some of the pics I snapped with my cheap little iPhone camera.  We’ll start with the dinner to which we were treated by my boss’s wife, Chef Debbie Frangipane, at the restaurant where she cooks. Read the rest of this entry »

Written on November 14th, 2012 , Everything Else
It’s Sunday, October 14th, 2012. Down in St. Martin, Carina, Piper and Michelle are enduring Tropical Storm Rafael. Luckily it wasn’t too brutal, but from what I’ve heard, it dumped a lot of rain, knocked out power and water for long stretches of time, and threw up an impressive wind storm.

Rainy season, hurricane season, and hot ‘n humid season are all at their peak in the Caribbean right now. Although I miss Carina and Pipes terribly and wish I was with them, it might be stretching the truth just a little if I said I wish I was on the island right now. Read the rest of this entry »

Entering customs at Newark airport

Entering customs at Newark airport

As I write this, it’s Sunday September 9th, 2012. Tanner and I are settled down into the home of Cari’s parents for an unknown period of time, and all the girls are back in St. Martin.  Andi has begun 8th grade at Learning Unlimited, a private k-12 island school, and Tanner is enrolled at Highview Junior High in New Brighton, MN.

Nine weeks ago, Andi, Tanner and I left Saint Martin and flew back to Minneapolis.  Four weeks ago we were joined by Piper and Michelle, and two weeks ago Cari escaped finals and made it back here in time to squeeze in a short visit as well. One week ago, Carina, Andi, Piper and Michelle left to go back to the island, and Tanner and I stayed here.

It has been a crazy, intense nine weeks, full of the entire spectrum of emotions plus lots of catching up with friends and family.  We shuttled back and forth between St. Cloud and the Twin Cities, and managed to squeeze in a trip to Utah to see my family as well.

I’ll let the photos do most of the talking. My good camera was broken the entire extent of this trip, so this post is heavily indebted to the photography of others, and to the very few pics taken with my poor little ancient iPhone camera. Read the rest of this entry »

Two of Five is Almost Half Done

Trail marker at the head of the path to Happy Bay

It’s Sunday June 10th, and tomorrow Carina heads into the second block week of her second semester.  This means we literally won’t see her all week.  And, as there are four blocks per semester, it also means her second semester is almost half over.



Okay, now that I’ve gotten the “wows” out of the way, I do also have to say that it’s nice not having Cari being in her first semester any more, for a couple of reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

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